Blue Eagles survive Bulldogs run

21 07 2007

With 15 seconds left to play in the game, the Bulldogs were down by two. Jonathan Fernandez bravely made a pass thru three Ateneo big men. The ball was already circling the rim. But it didn’t get in. The Ateneo Blue Eagles flew away with a win over the NU Bulldogs, 66-65, at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium last July 21.

The National University started strong ending the first quarter, 17-9. But Jobe Nkemakolam and Chris Tiu stepped up for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the second quarter. The Katipunan-based club caught up with the Bulldogs on top 28-25, at the end of the first half.

In the third quarter, Chris Tiu made two three-point bombs and almost completed a three-point play with 6:43 minutes remaining. His 3-pointer with 6:10 left to play, put the Eagles on ahead for the first time, 38-37. Jonathan Jahnke made a shot from behind the arc and tied the game at 40 with 5:38 minutes in the clock.

A three-point shot from Jai Reyes and another FG from Tiu stole brought the lead back to Ateneo, 45-42. Joseph Lingao-Lingao’s 1/2 FT trimmed the Blue Eagle lead to just within 2, 45-43.

In the fourth quarter, Edwin Asoro’s 4th foul with 9:09 minutes still to play, had the officials hearing some comments from the Bulldogs crowd.

Siverino Baclao made three back-to-back-to-back baskets with less than 6 minutes to play. Al-Hussaini’s powerful finish with 2:50 minutes left was answered back by Fernandez who took a shot from behind the arc.

Al-Hussaini made 2/2 FTs but received an abrupt reply from Asoro’s 3-point play to make it a two-point ballgame, 61-59, with still Ateneo on top.

With 1:17 minutes left to play, Eric Salamat was fouled by Chris Catamora from the three-point line. Due to injury, he was substituted by Monfort who made 2/3 from the stripe. With 42.4 seconds left, Fernandez made a big three that cut the lead to two, 65-63.

Baclao’s missed FTs was a chance in waiting for NU to go for glory. But a pass to Fernandez was tapped out of bounce by Al-Hussaini with 5.1 seconds left. Al-Hussaini was fouled and made 1/2 from the free throw line making it a 3-point Ateneo lead.

Ateneo’s next battle would be against its archrival for years, the La Salle Green Archers, on Thursday at the Araneta Coliseum.

“We must not give La Salle too many points. We’re going to locate their shooters and shut them down,” said Coach Norman Black.

Meanwhile, this is NU’s second consecutive loss. The Bulldogs face UST on Thursday.

Individual Scores:

ADMU -66

Tiu-17, Nkemakolam-8, Al-Hussaini-7, Baclao-6, Salamat-6, Reyes-5, Barracoso-5, Arao-4, Long-3, Laterre-3, Monfort-2, Austria-0, Baldos-0, Escueta-0.

NU – 65

Asoro-15, Fernandez-14, Jahnke-13, Salvado-7, Lingao-Lingao-7, Catamora-5, Aguilar-4, Galapon-0, Ponferrada-0, Luy-0, Garcia-0, Malagueño-0, Dela Cruz-0.

Quarter Scores:

9-17, 16-11, 20-15, 21-22.

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